Website in Shambles
by NM Leland Fuerstman
Charlotte, NC 1-5-20: Have you taken a look at the NCCA website lately? There is virtually nothing of any real value there. Now, it appears as if retired retailer, President Debs Pedigo seems to be attempting to sell a "pig in a poke!" His "laboriously painful to read" rhetoric on their "new website" explains that you are required to first pay $10 for a special code number that you must use to access the information on the site? He promises a "forum, suggestion box and YouTube training videos about chess." Woopy-do! --What about promptly posting results of all events from around the entire state to include winners, prizes won, games from the event, and other human interest stories and anecdotes which would be entertaining to the chess public? An editorial from a competent Master wouldn't hurt either. Results of clubs from all over the state should also be promptly reported; with images, quotes and wall charts. That way, organizers could advertise their club info and contact information in order to recruit new members! Sounds good, but unfortunately nothing like that has been seen for decades. (Oh, they've had a "Club Info" page over the past few years, which excluded the CCC. Unfortunately, much of the info was outdated or incorrect and many of the clubs had long been shut down). It goes on to say that you will also be allowed to access a list of upcoming events around the state. (...frankly, the only thing that anyone ever looked at).
How ridiculously exclusive. For the first time in history, any person who accesses the NCCA website on the internet will be required to pay $10 just to see a list of tournaments? (Question: Will paying with a credit card allow instant access or will people have to wait a few weeks, or even months, before their memberships are processed, as usual?) Hardly encouraging for newbies and first time players who are interested in participating in tournament chess competition. The "Catch 22" is that you can't see the pig before you pay for it? Again, I shall repeat one of my favorite maxims: "the grandest intention does not equal the slightest deed."
Go ahead and click on: www.ncchess.org and observe 2 major blurbs for two upcoming events. One is an NCCA Legal Advisor and Puppet Master Wilder Wadford event and the other is sponsored by the Triangle Chess Association, with no name listed. My question is, why was a major event like the Charlotte Open, which is being contested this very weekend, NOT posted on that page? Seems like the organizer should get equal exposure. BTW, who is the Editor/Webmaster of the NCCA website? If it is Debs Pedigo, then apparently he was too involved in preparing to participate in the event himself and it was neglected. (any competent webmaster could have posted that in 5 minutes!) Don't worry. Organizer NM Peter Giannatos had a great turnout!
Before Pedigo decided to run for President, though he had been a contented member of the Charlotte Chess Club for a number of years, he approached me and requested that I "not" publicly endorse him for the position!? Apparently, he felt that it would benefit him politically not to be aligned with NM Leland Fuerstman and the Charlotte Chess Club. (I asked what gave him the idea that I would endorse him, in the first place. LOL) However, in order to help him win, I agreed. In fact, we discussed a number of other issues, which included reversing the blatantly unfair ancient policy of NOT allowing the CCC to post information on the NCCA website, which he agreed to do (if I didn't post any messages before the election, which I did not do). We also discussed the necessity of completely rewriting the constitution and bylaws to conform to today's needs. (I even volunteered to help write it) Again, he promised that would be done shortly after the election. I went on to share my concerns about two 45 Thousand Dollar Scholastic events which had been organized and directed by certain past NCCA officers where absolutely no information about profits nor accounting was shared with anyone? He actually told me that "the accounting of those events would be made available in the coming year!" Finally, he wholeheartedly agreed that the NCCA website should be completely revamped which would include some of my recommendations and suggestions. I made myself readily available to assist him in order to help right the ship. It all sounded good to me, the problem is, none of what he promised ever came to fruition. He even subsequently posted a statement indicating that "he was advised that the NCCA was not required to post any accounting information?" (Really? I always thought that NPO's were required to do that).
If one nickel of the NCCA treasury was spent on promoting chess in North Carolina, they have certainly provided no evidence of it. So, here we are over a year later, and little or nothing has been accomplished by the current administration. (whomever comprises the current administration, since you'd have to pay $10 to see whether they haven't already resigned) Incompetence and neglect continue to pervade their ranks. -- So, don't waste you money. Until things significantly change, I recommend that you donate your $10 to the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 500 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 - At least it will be going to a worthy cause.
Happy New Year!
NM Leland Fuerstman
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